City Talk: Aids scientist gives Biomedix boost

KS Biomedix is poised to announce it has linked up with Professor Luc Montagnier, the French scientist who lays claim to the discovery of the Aids virus. Tomorrow, the company is set to announce interim figures. The news will confirm the status of the group's research into monoclonal antibodies derived from sheep, which are perceived to offer higher binding affinities for human receptor sites than the more traditional source of antibodies from mice. Professor Montagnier will use KS Biomedix's monoclonal antibodies to act as vehicles to deliver drugs to target HIV that he is developing at the Paris Pasteur Institute.

Food for thought again from Tiny Rowland, who last week issued another broadside against the board of his old company, Lonrho, and the efforts to seek a merger with JCI of South Africa. Mr Rowland points out that chairman of Lonrho, Sir John Craven, has strong links to South Africa, and may have been seeking a merger with Anglovaal. Tiny questions if Sir John has any interest in keeping Lonrho independent. Whether that is the case or not, the conclusion, evidence that Lonrho shares are unlikely to show much gain in the current tangled situation, is probably overwhelming.

Williams, the conglomerate, has been rumoured to make a return to the FTSE 100 list of blue chips at the next rejig of constituents. A boost also came last week, when NatWest Markets upgraded the shares to an add, having only warranted a reduce recommendation for the past year and a half. NatWest believes the shares are on an undemanding 13.3 forward price earnings multiple, for 1998.

IS Solutions, a supplier of computer management and consultancy services, is joining the Alternative Investment Market through a placing. Stockbroker Williams de Broe is raising pounds 640,000 for the company, which will be valued at pounds 6.4m, through the issue of 4.77m shares at 134p.

Since 1995, the business, led by managing director John Lythall, has focused on the Internet, and especially developing Internet solutions for companies, through the world wide web, and electronic commerce. Since then, Internet activity contributed 6 per cent to group turnover of pounds 7.67m in 1966, and the level continues to rise.

And still they come. Nottingham Forest has just confirmed a stockmarket flotation, expected to value the club at a little over pounds 30m, according to chairman Nigel Wray, the dynamic entrepreneur behind property group Burford. Also in the wings is Crystal Palace, alongside fellow Londoners West Ham, who are also in training for their stock market debut. However, the values all three will attract is well below what they could have raised if they had floated even eight months ago. Nigel Wray says he would rather be coming to the market with a valuation which is a more realistic appraisal of the club's prospects, than when football fever roamed the City.

WH Smith, the stationers, seems to dig an ever deeper hole for itself as the hunt goes on for a suitable candidate to replace Bill Cockburn. It is clear now that the three internal contenders have been sidelined, with the consent of the non-executive directors, while the remit for a heavy hitter from outside is extended to include Europe, the US and sectors outside retail. But suppose no one suitable can be found even after this last gasp effort. For all the market knows, the internal candidates remain on the list of possibles. But if one of them is appointed, it will be hard to persuade the City that the appointee enjoys the support of the board; their credibility has been tarnished. The company should sort out its lines of communications as well, as they too are a bit awry at present.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

Ashdown Group: IT Manager / Development Manager - NW London - £58k + 15% bonus

£50000 - £667000 per annum + excellent benefits : Ashdown Group: IT Manager / ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant / Telemarketer - OTE £20,000

£13000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Scotland's leading life insuran...

Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manager - City, London

£40000 - £45000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manag...

Day In a Page

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...